Monday, September 29, 2008


Royal Oak recently was selected by Disney as one of only 30 stops on its nationwide 'What Will You Celebrate?' tour, spotlighting Disney theme parks and offering chances to win a free 'celebration vacation'.

Royal Oak business owners enthusiastic about the Disney coming, quickly created a 'Family Fun Night' as a way to celebrate and bring more families into the downtown.

Radio Disney (AM 910) on Friday agreed to jump into the mix too. They'll be kicking out the Disney tunes from their base outside The Baldwin Theatre on Lafayette.

Family Fun Night activities are planned for this Friday, Oct. 3 from 5-8 p.m. Some Highlights Include:

Free Parking Downtown from 5-8 p.m.
Cool Disney-inspired, kids-eat-free menus or special discounts
Coloring Contests, Prizes, Games, Giveaways
Kids' Castle Moonwalk at Sixth and Main (Fresard's Auto Body Shop)
Late Shopping - 'til 8 p.m.
A Drive-In Movie at Dusk at Main Street & I-696
Kids can come dressed as their favorite Disney Character
Stagecrafters actors will wander about in costume
For more details please see this excerpt from the Press Release below...

Bob Murray, president of Contract Design Group and one of the business owners organizing 'Family Fun Night,' said tying the event's family theme to Disney was a natural.

'Who doesn't have a magical Disney memory?' Murray asked. 'Mickey, Minnie, Donald Goofy, they're all part of American culture. What child can't remember the first Disney movie they ever saw - Fantasia, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians, The Little Mermaid, Lilo & Stitch, Toy Story, High School Musical? Each generation has their own special connection to a Disney tale. We'd like to tap into that magic for this event. We're even inviting kids to come dressed as their favorite Disney character.'

Sangria and Sky Club owner, Luigi Cutraro, says it’s just good business to roll out the red carpet for Disney and the families who will be flocking to town.

“We plan to give them the royal treatment. We want everyone to know that Royal Oak is a great place for families to enjoy,” said Cutraro, who also serves on the Downtown Development Authority that is funding the event.

Andiamo Osteria, operations manager Sandy Kowalski, said she loves the family-friendly theme of the event. Andiamo's is offering a 'Bella Notte' spaghetti and meatball special as a nod to Disney's Lady and The Tramp.

'The part of Lady and The Tramp where the dogs slurp the spaghetti noodle is one of the best parts of the movie - my kids love that,' Kowalski said. 'When kids order the 'Bella Notte Spaghetti and Meatball Special,' they will eat free that night.'

Not to be outdone, Bob Higgins at the Oxford Inn, the restaurant closest to the Drive-In location, plans to have his staff rock a Disney look.

“We’re going over the top,” Higgins said, noting that his staff would be wearing custom Disney-inspired uniforms. He said he also was going to offer an entire menu for kids that celebrated Disney memories and movies. “We’ve got some really healthy choices for the kids too.”

Memphis Smoke is pulling out the stops too with all sorts of Disney-influenced fare for the kids such as Pluto's Plate (hot dogs and fries), Nemo's Nibbles (fish and fries), the Rattatouille (mac 'n cheese bites with fries) and more. Kids 10 and under will eat free when an adult entree is ordered.

Over at The Rock on Third, they’ll be offering samples of their All-American fare. According to Carrie O’Neill, they also plan to create some fun Disney-related meals.

At O'Toole's kids will also eat free on Oct. 3. O'Toole's is also celebrating Disney's arrival with a tip of the hat to the movie Aristocats, with an O'Malley burger named after O'Malley the Alley Cat.

Zumba Mexican Grille is getting in on the fun with a Chihuahua Crunch Taco, to celebrate the new Disney release Beverly Hills Chihuahua, which launches nationwide on Oct. 3. Zumba Owner Tim Castaneda says the restaurant will create the special two-layer, soft and hard taco just for kids, who will eat free during 'Family Fun Night'